Weight loss is something that finds a dedicated spot in the personal goals set to be achieved by most of us. It usually ends up sitting quite high on the list. Achieving weight loss is surely a struggle; it is the combined result of your diet, physical exercise and also how active or sluggish your metabolism is. The ideal approach towards achieving weight loss is always through a balanced mix of the right diet and regular physical activity. Unfortunately, the world where we live in is the one that has paucity of time and therefore the trend of crash diets sneak into our lives.
This piece is dedicated to enumerating some key points that must be kept in mind if you are undergoing a diet plan. However, a word of caution is the fact that no amount of dieting - even the ones that are carried out diligently and consistently - will be able to give you long-term results, and why is that? It is because once you stop and as soon as you get back to your regular dietary pattern, you will see all the lost weight slowly sneaking its way back to where it originally was. Having said that, it doesn't mean the concept of dieting should be shunned altogether. Many health, fitness and wellness coaches introduce a tailor-made diet plan to a person's routine only to trigger the initial drop in kilos. Once the body feels relatively lighter, physical activity is introduced to achieve better results.
No matter what diet plan you choose to follow, before we go ahead and tell you five thumb rules to extracting the maximum out of your diet plan, keep the following things in mind:
(a) Never try crash or fad diets that work by eliminating a food group or require you to live on a couple or more ingredients for a long period of time.
(b) Dietary changes that you make must be practical; something that you can revisit or follow throughout your life. Making erratic lifestyle changes will result in weight loss but the achieved result shall be short-lived and unhealthy.
"Any diet plan that is deficient in more than one nutrient is not fit for the human body. I would always press for a balanced diet teamed with regular physical activity," notes a Delhi-based nutritionist and diet expert, Anshul Jaibharat.
Manage obesity by eating right
Diet tips you must follow
1. Protein in every meal
One of the biggest reasons why protein is good for weight loss is the fact that it helps in maintaining satiety and keeps you from feeling hungry every now and then. It is also great for muscle building in case you are carrying out weight training along with your diet plan. You need 1gm of protein per kg of body weight. By that logic, if you weigh 50kgs, your daily protein requirement would amount to 50gms which can easily be derived by consuming one egg,1/4 liter of milk, 30gms of paneer and close to 100gms of lean meat.
2. The starvation theory
If you think skipping meals will give you that enviable body, think again. Starvation is only going to take the sheen off your face, make your hair grow weaker and take a toll on your metabolism. Any drop in weight achieved via skipping meals is sure to come back again. It is better that you exercise portion control, eat smaller but frequent meals. Breakfast should be the heaviest meal of the day and dinner should be the lightest.
3. Snacking is essential
For those who undermine the efficacy of snacking, understand that it can be one of the most vital tools in staving off untimely hunger pangs and facilitating weight loss. When you're on diet, giving into cravings and mid-meal hunger pangs is more than likely. Keep a pouch of nuts or seeds handy to munch on between meals or whenever you seem to battle hunger pangs. Almost anything can be had in the form of snacks - from a small bowl of curd, salads, soup, fruits to a bar of granola, etc.
"Snacking is essential. Long gaps between meals can up your blood sugar levels which can end up making you feel hungrier," notes Shilpa Arora ND, a Delhi-based Macrobiotic Nutritionist.
4. Water therapy
Yes! Hydration is extremely important for weight loss and to keep your system balanced, especially when it is experiencing a change owing to your shift from your regular eating pattern to a designed diet plan. "Sometimes an imbalance of electrolytes in your body may make you feel drained out. Besides lots of water, you must load up on coconut water, nimbu paani and fresh fruit juices," shares Dr. Rupali Datta, Chied Clinical Nutritionist with Fortis Escorts, New Delhi.
5. Few more things
Quickly summing up some other things that can increase the effectiveness of your diet plan:
- Caffeine can do wonders for your metabolism; if you happen to have said a strict no to it, find out ways to add a bit of it to your diet. Ensure not having more than 400mg of caffeine in a day via various sources. Also, black coffee is your best bet for weight loss and revving up your metabolism; added sugar, milk or cream just translates into extra, unwanted calories.
Coffee; Photo Credit: Istock
- In one of his interviews with NDTV Food, actor and former supermodel Milind Soman noted the importance of keeping full. "Eat right and eat regularly; if you are feeling hungry all the time that is a sign that your body is deprived of nutrition and needs more quality food to function," he noted.
- Sugar and processed items must be avoided. White carbs are bad for weight loss, and so are refined food items. Fats are essential for our health, they are one of the most important food groups required by our body for proper functioning. The idea is never to completely cut out any food group but to strike a balance between all of them and consume as much the body actually needs.
Always remember, it is not the act of consumption that leads to weight gain but an act of over indulgence that transforms into a habit and therefore leads to obesity. Dietary discipline, regular exercising and proper sleep should be enough in solving common health-related woes for most of us.